To be a Canadian citizen is an honour and a pleasure. I am very thankful to have an opportunity to be a part of one of the most multicultural societies in the world, and I am even more proud when I see our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcome new refugees from Syria. Those actions show the world how generous and caring we are and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the One Young World Summit 2016 held in our beautiful capital city – Ottawa.
In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to approve multiculturalism as an official policy. By doing so, the self-respect and values of all Canadians were acknowledged, irrelevant of their background, language, skin colour, or religion. Canada is a diverse and organized country that respects its citizens and the freedom of speech.
By having so many different nations in one place, the whole world becomes one country. In Canada, we have the opportunity to experience foods, music, traditions and the ways of living of more than 150 different cultures worldwide. We share our heritages and have a common goal – to uplift the conditions of humanity or at least our surroundings.
In the 20th century, Canada became one of the main immigrant-accepting societies around the world. Having so many different cultures in one place allows Canada to innovate at a much faster pace, with ideas contributed from many different backgrounds. International students and researchers make up a great part of our educational system and help create new opportunities for our citizens. Canadian University Degrees are recognized worldwide and allow international students to stay and work in Canada on a skilled worker visa for a period upon graduating.
In Canada, we like to talk about our similarities instead of pointing out our differences. The same is true for Canadian businesses. They are strong domestically, but also very active on an international level. Canada exports its goods to more than 20 countries around the world with top countries being USA, China, Japan, United Kingdom, and Mexico. Some of the top categories Canada exports include oil, vehicles, machines and precious metals, electronic equipment, plastics, aircrafts, wood, aluminium, and paper.
Overall, Canada is very friendly and welcoming to all cultures. Diplomatically stable and fair, the quality of life is of a very high standard. The citizens of Canada, who emigrated from many different countries, strive to invest their energy and knowledge into bettering our society and the diversity and experience they bring along is of great contribution. You are all welcome in Canada and I sincerely hope to meet you at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa. Together we can invest our experiences and our intelligence and contribute to making the world a better place for all.
Taras Stojkovic has travelled the world extensively, and as a result has come to understand the importance of sharing resources among all of the world’s citizens. He is a Canadian of Serbian and Russian descent, born in Nigeria, who also studied in Ukraine, Jamaica, and Australia. Taras is an emerging Civil Engineer and Cross-Cultural and World-Heritage Ambassador at UNESCO.